December 1, 2016
Volume 20, Number 38
A meeting is planned for later this month in Washington, D.C. to discuss removal of highway signs in New York. At issue are more than 500 signs, scattered along the Interstate highways in that state. The theme that appears on each of those signs is “I Love NY” (with “Love” communicated by a drawing of a heart).
The signs were developed through the state Department of Tourism, and are designed to inform travelers of interesting sites nearby. The National Highway Administration, however, argues that the signs don’t conform to federal standards, and contain so much information as to become a distraction to drivers. Unless New York can convince Washington otherwise, they stand to lose more than $1 billion in federal funding.
I occasionally pass billboards on the Interstate that try to pack too much information onto the sign. I have often wondered how many people pull off the road so they can read all of the information (none, I’m guessing). Then again, how many accidents have been caused by people trying to read everything on such signs?
There’s no doubt that distracted driving is a serious matter. But what about when love itself becomes a distraction in our lives?
John raised this issue in his first letter: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). The Greek word for “love” in that passage is from the well-known agape root, signifying something that drives an individual. It’s more than “loving” hot dogs or pizza; it’s something on which we have placed great value, that alters our view toward other things.
Paul wrote about a coworker who had abandoned him: “For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world …” (2 Timothy 4:10). “Loved” is that same word in the Greek; Demas was distracted from serving the Lord because his love for material things had affected his view of life.
We’ve all heard Paul’s observation that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). The Greek word for “love” is different in that verse, but the idea is the same. Paul went on to explain: “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Love of the wrong things can be a dangerous distraction.
I suppose there may be merit to the National Highway Administration’s concerns. If a person isn’t focused on the road ahead, they might veer off course and wreck. The spiritual analogy is undoubtedly serious: If I take my focus off God’s path, I’m apt to veer off course and lose my soul in the process.
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2016, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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